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Know your raga
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We are indeed proud of our readers who respond by writing to us their valuable thoughts and views on the various articles published in Samudhra. Their interaction is vital to make the magazine more purposeful and meaningful. Now, readers can directly write to us on any aspect of fine arts which they feel is worth sharing.

It gives me a great pleasure to read a wonderful interview  on my close musician friend Mr.Raghu, a versatile gifted engineer. I worked in All India Radio for more than three decades.

In AIR,  there are two wings. One is the  programme section and another is the engineering section. It is a fact that both these are internally dependable. Programme  section runs the show with  the help of the technically qualified engineers. Normally, engineering assistants do not have music sense and artists and the programme  section people do not  posses technical knowledge. I know very  very few people who have a very good music ear. Mr.Raghu is one among them. He knows basically the essential things in recording of  music programmes. He pretty well knows how to balance the instruments, either big or small. Mr.Raghu has a sound knowledge of Carnatic music and light music. He himself has recorded  some songs for a commercial CD in which  my sons,  Malladi Brothers have sung. I was there in the studio in Kodambakkam. I still remember how he took special care for the songs composed by me in Raga Pahadi. Mr. Raghu is a singer, composer,  good critic and what not? He is truly an all-rounder. All India Radio , Chennai is very fortunate to have had few talented engineers like him.

Most of the valuable recordings are very safely preserved  even  now only because of people like him. May Lord Venkateswara bless him with sound health.I appreciate Samudhra  for having selected  a right person to be interviewed.

- Malladi  Suribabu, Vijayawada  by email

I was extremely happy to read the interview of HMV Raghu who is indeed such a knowledgeable person but not many know about his unique contribution to the music world. I appreciate Samudhra for identifying such great people and featuring them.

- S.Swaminathan, Madurai

Radha Basker's sustained and strenuous efforts in giving wide scope on a vast variety and quality of music of different genre and music appreciation through excellent editorials have made marked effects on the minds of the readers. Mega projects like Mudhra Music Studio and Paalam Academy inaugurated a week ago will open many new vistas for the young aspirants of music. Moreover, Samudra's magnum opus in preserving and fostering the nuances and niceties of Carnatic music and making it spread to every nook and corner of the world via live webcast and modern technology will go a long way to ensure the young upcoming music artists have the benefit of performing and enjoying this great art.

- R.Pichumani, Thippirajapuram.

I am really elated to see your technological progress. Kindly keep it up. Your efforts and goals are laudable and marvelous. Kindly take Carnatic Music to the nooks and corners of this world. Technological progress is the sure indicator of human progress. Yesterday, our ISRO Scientists have placed Mangalyan in the orbit of Mars. You are making relentless efforts to place Carnatic Music in the orbit of this planet. Certainly, you will succeed. Hard work always brings rewards. You stand tall. All the best.

- B.R.Kumar, Chennai-41

The article by Revathi Sadasivam on the great pedagogue Sri AA Iyer was interesting and informative. As a humble student of the Vidyalaya in Kolkata, I would like to add a couple of more information on the great soul. Other than the books mentioned by Revathi Sadasivam, Sri Iyer brought out the following books also on Dikshitar kriti-s with notations - Abhayamba Navavarnam, Rama Navavarnam, Krishna Navavarnam.

The foreword for the Abhayamba Navavarnam (pub. 1956) was written by none other than His Holiness Jagadguru Shree Shankaracharya Swamiji of Govardhanapeeth titled "Ashir Abhinandana Padya Malika" in poetic form in Sanskrit.  He narrates briefly, the biography of Sri Muthuswamy Dikshitar and in the concluding verses, he praises in glowing terms the contribution of Sri Ananthakrishna Iyer for propagation of Sri Dikshitar kritis.

Sri Guruguha Gana Vidyalaya, Kolkata established by Sri Iyer is still propagating Sri Dikshitar's kriti-s and has now taken wings and has spread the world over through some finest of disciples.

- B Karthickeyan, Kolkata by email

This is to appreciate you for the wonderful and exhaustive coverage given by Samudhra for the "Smriti Kusumanjali" - tribute to T.Mukta. Your report made very interesting reading. I congratulate Dr.V.Raghavan Centre & SNA for taking the great initiative to highlight the contribution of the doyen T.Mukta in fitting manner.

-V.Ganesan, Coimbatore.

(Editor - I would like to add that Smt. Nandini Ramani, the brain behind the fest had invited many artistes from various parts of India has observers to participate and share their views as well. This was a laudable initiative to make known the great contribution of T.Mukta to a wider spectrum of the artiste community. I was also invited as one of the observers and hence feel doubly happy to have shared the information about the fest with our readers.)

This refers to your editorial in Samudhra issue 142. I agree with you that too much classicism in a devotional / bhajan session is to be avoided. Similarly, it is not correct to expect Bhakti inspiration during a classical concert. Concert music is 'Art music' and there is nothing to feel guilty about pleasurable sensations during this. Only these should not be confused with Bhakti.  'Entertainment'  is not a dirty word. Music is used for various purposes: accompanying dance, patriotism, selling party ideology or a consumer product, etc.  The most classical parts of concert music  alaapana, tanam and swaram and instrumental music including percussion cannot be described as devotional. Other art forms are also capable of being put to many uses. A good artist may draw a non-religious/secular painting just as a religious one. The latter may inspire devotional feelings among many viewers. The former invokes enjoyment, which is certainly not devotion. The Hindu (Brahmin) mind has been conditioned to look down upon any form of pleasure which is not related to devotion. A nice-tasting food item is described as 'divine' or 'fit for the Gods'.  Ultimately, 'divine' is another word for 'superlative'.

- Dr R Narasimhan, Chennai

Mandolin Srinivas, the magician with nimble fingers who enthralled the musical fans the world over, died at Chennai at a premature age of 45 years. Even the most feared Art Critic Subbudu used to praise Srinivas as one who used to keep his rasikas under a spell all through his concerts. I had a couple of opportunities to interact with the genius. He will always live with us.

- S.Venugopalan by email

Wishes received from dignitaries and well wishers on inauguration of Mudhra Music Studio -

Greetings from Toronto. Received your invitation for the online inauguration of Mudhra Music Studio and Paalam Academy. Congratulations! Wish the function a great success and continued success with all your future projects.

- Sangita Kalanidhi Prof. Trichy Sankaran

Splendid weekend watching these programs - gives relaxation and generally energetic feeling.

- Lalitha Muralimanohar

Congratulations. This is wonderful and unique. Great concept for music lovers all over the globe. Welcome M.M.S. and Paalam with much more information on music for the common music lovers. Great efforts. Long live your services to the society.

- Lalitha. V

Congratulations to both of you for the great service you are rendering to the music society.

- Vasudevan T R

This programme is sure to progress very fast since more and more rasikas will get an awareness of the contents of our classical music

- R.Balakrishnan

Hearty greetings and best wishes to both of you; wish all success to all your ventures.

- Nandini Ramani

Wish You All The Best And Success For The New Venture. - The Dhananjayans

Our heartfelt wishes for the grand success of the function.

- Railpriya Venkat

 I appreciate the Bhaskars and congratulate them on their new project Mudhra Music Studio. I pray to God to help them achieve more and more.

- Saroja Swamy, Chennai

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